Cosmetic treatment review website The Good Surgeon Guide presented a pre-selected list of names and asked 1,178 women across the UK "Which of the following women has inspired you the most in the last decade?".
The Girls Aloud singer and X Factor judge topped the list, with 51% of those voting for her reportedly doing so because of her "success" and 29% doing so because of her "beauty".
Cole was followed by Dame Helen Mirren, Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston and acid attack victim Katie Piper in the top five, with the top ten completed by The Queen, J.K. Rowling, Sharon Osbourne, Kylie Minogue and Amy Williams.
Website owner Christiana Clogg said: "It is great that the results show these women as inspirational for a variety of reasons.
"Success is something that most women aspire to have, not necessarily success in the public eye, but success on a personal level."
Model Jodie Marsh was named the least inspirational woman, followed by Tara Palmer Tomkinson, Kerry Katona, Amy Winehouse and Amanda Holden.
The top ten 'Least Inspirational' list was rounded out by Rebecca Loos, Camilla Duchess Of Cornwall, Lady Isabella Hervey, Chantelle Houghton and Helen Flanagan.